In Romans 1:16-17, Paul explained what the Gospel is. He viewed it as God, in his righteousness, justify (or acquit or vindicate) a morally guilty person, both Jews and Gentile, through faith in Christ Jesus, His Son. It is “the power of God for salvation of the Jew first as well as the Gentile”(Witherington 2004: 47)
Through faith in Christ Jesus, God implemented his righteousness, which is “a divine gift rather than human achievement” that also enables obedience, to Jews and Gentiles as He put believers right with Himself.
God’s righteousness is “incompatible with dependence on mere human righteousness” and “is not a goal to be reached by human effort, but a relational premise that should dictate the new life of faithfulness to Christ”. (Keener 2009: pg)
Paul understands that faith in Christ Jesus, which is both an intellectual acknowledgement and genuine dependence, loyalty and allegiance to Christ Jesus, involves dependence on God’s righteousness and is not “a human work, whether physical or mental in nature”. (Ibid pg)
The gospel is good news because God preserves from His wrath those who trust in him. At the cross, God has already delivered both Jews and Gentiles from His final judgment and began restoring those in Christ into the image of His Son.
According to Paul, Keener explained, “[t]he gospel is the object of faith, and its subject is God’s Son (1:9), Jesus Christ (15:19, 20; 16:25).” (Ibid pg)
Keener, C. S. (2009) Romans. Kindle edn. New Covenant Commentary Series. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.
Witherington III, B. (2004) Paul’s Letter to the Romans: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.